Accommodating tests

For example, in some states, using a "not okay" accommodation results in a test score that is not counted, or it might even affect the kind of diploma that is awarded (if the test counts toward earning a diploma).

Each state has guidelines for the use of accommodations for accountability assessments.

Assessment Accommodations [Teacher Tools] [Case Studies] Including All Students in State and District Assessments Assessments for accountability are required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and participation in assessments, with accommodations as necessary, is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997.

The purpose of these assessments is to show the progress of a school toward proficiency on state academic content standards.

It is important to know that some accommodations are considered nonstandard or nonallowable.

These kinds of accommodations may have consequences attached.

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Most states' policies distinguish between test changes that are viewed as "okay" and those that are viewed as "not okay." The terms that states used to reflect this distinction include: Familiarity with state policy on accommodations is essential.Accommodations are typically categorized according to whether they are changes in presentation (e.g., directions or items read aloud), response (e.g., mark answer in the test booklet), setting (e.g., use of a study carrel), or timing/scheduling (e.g., frequent breaks).Here is a brief description of each of these categories.More importantly, a picture of the assessment results for all of the students in a school shows where there is strength and where improvement is needed.An emphasis on improvement might not take place without illuminating where students are having the most difficulty.

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